One-Sided Friendships – Today’s Youth Devotion

One-Sided Friendships

Bible Reading: Romans 15:1-4

We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in the Lord. Romans 15:2

GOOD FRIENDS are like diamonds. They’re very precious; they arrive in the rough; they don’t magically appear at your feet, you have to dig for them; and some people who should be gems turn out to be lumps of coal.

It’s easy to spot at least four kinds of friendship that disappoint and frustrate. Maybe you’re in the middle of one of these friendships right now.

  1. Part-time friends. Some friends are great buddies when you’re one-on-one. But they ignore you or worse when you’re with the crowd. Others are just the opposite. When they’re with a bunch of kids, they act plenty nice. But when you get them alone, they act like you don’t exist. Some part-time friends are warm and cozy if you spend money on them. When the money cools off, so does the friendship.
  2. Conditional friends. These are people who treat friendship like bait, dangling a relationship in front of you to get you to do what they want. As long as you cough up what they want, you are friends. But as soon as you choke, the friendship sputters.
  3. Undependable friends. From the careless way they hurt their friends, these people seem to lack the tiniest sense of responsibility or integrity. They betray confidences, gossip, or break their word. Because you never know where you stand with them, a meaningful friendship can’t thrive.
  4. Superficial friends. A superficial friend can’t ever get serious. You need to talk through something personal or meaningful, and your friend changes the subject to something trite or non-threatening or makes a joke about it. Chances are that relationship won’t ever go beyond small talk.

It’s discouraging to figure out that your friends fall into one of these categories. Sometimes you feel like you give a lot more than you get in these relationships, and you might come to the point where you don’t have any energy left to inject into the friendship. You wind up discouraged, hurt, and lonely. You might not want to admit it, but you’re not in a healthy relationship.

Here’s a scary question: Can you spot any of these patterns in yourself? Do you show any signs of being a part-time, conditional, undependable, or superficial friend in any of your relationships?

REFLECT: Are you a diamond? Or a hunk of coal?

PRAY: Ask God to help you change any destructive patterns you might be living out with others.